Tag Archives: we all have tales

Rumpelstiltskin by Christopher Noel


Rumpelstiltskin Book Cover

Blog 2 Info

Genre:  Fairy Tale / Germany / Audiobook / Family
Year Published: 1991
Year Read:  2006

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Series: We All Have Tales

Blog 1 Introduction logo

Rabbit Ears Productions is widely known for their celebrity narrated stories. The production also many stories that were highlights of the 1990s. “Rumpelstiltskin” is a popular story from Rabbit Ears “We All Have Tales” series and is greatly enhanced by Kathleen Turner’s narration, Tangerine Dream’s haunting music and Peter Sis’s delicate drawings.

Blog 4 Pros

Kathleen Turner’s narration is extremely brilliant as she uses a somewhat menacing voice foreshadowing Rumpelstiltskin’s ulterior motives. Also, Turner does an excellent job at being brilliantly scary towards the end of the story when Rumpelstiltskin meets his demise. Tangerine Dream’s haunting music provided the perfect mysterious atmosphere to the appearance of the little man to enacting Rumpelstiltskin’s frightening dance number when the queen searches for him. Peter Sis’s drawings are delicate yet haunting, especially of the image of Rumpelstiltskin pulling off his mask, revealing a skeleton face.

Blog 5 Cons

Parents should know that younger viewers may be frightened by the theme of Rumpelstiltskin trying to take the child away from the queen. Since, many children are getting kidnapped in the world today; many young viewers may worry about being kidnapped by a little man. Also, since Rumpelstiltskin’s reasons for wanting the child is made unclear, children may fear that Rumpelstiltskin may hurt the baby boy.

Blog 6 Overall
“Rumpelstiltskin” is another Rabbit Ears story that is mysterious and haunting, just like “The Fisherman and his Wife,” and is full of engaging music and images that create a wondrous world full of mystery and enchantment. This is a great film for the whole family watch, but parents must warn their children about the theme of child-kidnapping before letting them watch this video.

5 stars

Also reviewed on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Anansi by Brian Gleeson


Anansi Book CoverBlog 2 Info

Genre:  Comedy / Jamaica / Animals / Morals / Trickery
Year Published: 1991
Year Read:  1993

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Series: We All Have Tales

Blog 1 Introduction logoI have seen many videos from Rabbit Ears Productions and my favorite ones were “The Fool and the Flying Ship” and “The Fisherman and his Wife.” But now, I have stumbled upon another video from the Rabbit Ears series that has also become a favorite of mine and that video is “Anansi.” “Anansi” has become one of my favorite Rabbit Ears videos because of its Jamaican theme story and Denzel Washington’s dazzling narration. Unlike, most Rabbit Ears stories, “Anansi” has two stories combined into one story.

Blog 4 Pros“Anansi” is full of positive  elements that I would like to point out. One of those positive elements is Denzel Washington’s narration. Denzel Washington does a terrific job at narrating this story as he speaks with a fluent Jamaican accent making the audience believe that he is really from Jamaica. Probably one of the most memorable quotes  spoken by Denzel Washington was when Anansi was telling the other animals he will not eat anything until the eighth day which he brilliantly states, “Me eat on the eighth day!” Another positive element in this story was the music done by UB40. UB40 provides the perfect Jamaican score to match  the laid back mood of the story. One great example of UB40’s masterful skills in making Jamaican music was when they start to pace up the beat when Anansi is dancing around trying to get the hot beans off his head and when they create a sharp beat of saws and hammers when reacting the scene where the African-Americans were being sold to slavery in the beginning of the story. The last positive element that I would like to point out is in Steven Guarnaccia’s illustrations. Steven Guarnaccia’s illustrations are jagged yet creative in making the glorious drawings of Anansi and his animal friends. My favorite illustration by Steven Guarnaccia was of Anansi the spider himself as he was portrayed as a Jamaican spider with black dreadlocks and a yellow and orange Hawaiian T-shirt.

Blog 6 Overall

“Anansi” is a classic among both adults and children because the children will enjoy the colorful drawings done by Steven Guarnaccia and the masterful storytelling by Denzel Washington. Parents would also enjoy this story because they may have been big fans of Denzel Washington and would not be disappointed for his performance in this short  story. Since, there is nothing inappropriate in this story, “Anansi” is a perfect video to watch for the entire family. However, due to lack of animation in this video, some kids who are more familiar with action may find this video a tad bit boring, but Denzel Washington’s narration, UB40’s music and Steven Guarnaccia’s illustrations will keep the kids interested.

017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond1991 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond1991 Parents’ Choice Gold Award

017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond1991 California Children’s Video Award

5 stars

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Finn McCoul by Brian Gleeson


Finn McCoul Book Cover

Blog 2 Info

Genre: Ireland / Giants / Folktale / Humor / Family

Year Published: 1991

Year Read: 2009

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Series: We All Have Tales

Blog 1 Introduction logo

“Finn McCoul” is an Irish folktale from the creative company Rabbit Ears Productions and is about how Finn McCoul must face his nemesis Cuculin and only his wife, Una, knows how to handle the giant brute. “Finn McCoul” is a great tale about true cunning that many children will enjoy for many years.

Blog 3 Summary

When Finn McCoul was born, he was no bigger than a fire-breathing dragon, which was too small for a giant. King Coul, Finn’s father, was so displeased at the size of his son that he throws Finn over the castle wall and into the water. Luckily, King Coul’s mother sees Finn in the water and she saves him from drowning and she decides to raise the boy herself in the woods. Many years later, Finn grows up into a man and he decided to leave his grandmother to become a great hero. Eventually, Finn finds a giant woman named Una who was extremely beautiful and they got married and lived on top of a mountain in a castle.

However, the reason why Finn made his home on top of the mountain was because it was the only way to avoid Cuculin. Cuculin was a fearsome giant who once flatten a thunderbolt into a pancake and he would always show it to his foes to remind them of the beating they are about to receive from him. Cuculin tried to find Finn McCoul, but Finn would always run away from him before battle. One day, Finn was helping his friends build the causeway from Ireland to Scotland when he started gnawing on his thumb. Whenever Finn starts gnawing on his thumb, he immediately sees the future and he found out that Cuculin was coming after him and he decided to go straight home to Una. When Finn got home, he told Una about Cuculin and she tells Finn that she needs time to think about how to deal with Cuculin.

What is Una’s plan and can Finn defeat Cuculin?

Watch the rest of this video to find out!

Blog 4 Pros

Catherine O’Hara does a splendid job narrating this story especially as she uses an Irish accent so effectively to narrate this heroic Irish tale. Boys of the Lough’s music is beautiful and truly captures the true spirit of Irish music as the tunes are cheerful and old fashioned. Peter deSeve’s illustrations are beautiful and hilarious at the same time, especially during the scenes of Cuculin lifting up Finn’s house to make the wind move away from the house as he was instructed by Una to do so.

Blog 6 Overall

“Finn McCoul” is a wonderful tale from Ireland about how it is wise to be cunning whenever a bully threatens you and it will be an instant classic for children who love comedy and folktales. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some Irish names that might be too hard for smaller children to pronounce such as “Cuculin” and “Una.”

5 stars

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Peachboy by Eric Metaxas


Peachboy (1991)Blog 2 Info

Genre: Japan / Monsters / Fantasy / Folktale

Year Published: 1991

Year Read: 2008

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Series: We All Have Tales

Blog 1 Introduction logo

“Peachboy” is one of the classics from Rabbit Ears’ “We All Have Tales” series and is probably the most dramatic and heartwarming story out of the whole series since “East of the Sun West of the Moon.” With Sigourney Weaver’s tender narration, along with Ryuichi Sakamoto’s mesmerizing music and Jeffrey Smith’s beautiful illustrations, “Peachboy” is an instant classic that cannot be beat!

Blog 4 Pros

Sigourney Weaver’s narration is so tender and soothing that she helps reinforce the intensity of this story, especially during the scenes of the emotional loss for the parents who lost their children to the ogres. Ryuichi Sakamoto’s music brilliantly captures the Japanese influence of the story making this story dramatic. Jeffrey Smith’s illustrations are beautiful as they brilliantly capture the essence of the Japanese characters. The image that probably stood out the most would be the image of Momotaro himself as he has a small and distinguished looking mustache and wears a traditional green Japanese outfit with a red belt that makes him look more heroic.

Blog 5 Cons

Parents should know that the scene with the ogres might be a little scary to younger children. The ogres are drawn so realistically that smaller children will definitely be frightened and what will frighten children even more is the fact that these ogres had kidnapped many of the village’s children when they were young. This part of the story might scare young children as they will probably think that the ogres will kidnapped them at the middle of the night and parents should explain to their children that this is merely a fairy tale and that most of the creatures in this book (except the dog, pheasant and ape) are imaginary.

Blog 6 Overall

“Peachboy” is a fantastic tale from Japan about the true power of friendship and courage and children will easily watch this video over and over again. I would recommend this video to children ages five and up since the scenes with the ogres might be too scary for smaller children.

5 stars

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Puss in Boots by Eric Metaxas


 

Puss in Boots Book Cover

Blog 2 Info

Genre:  France / Fairy Tale / Animals
Year Published: 1991
Year Read:  2009

Publisher:   Rabbit Ears Books

Series: We All Have Tales

Blog 1 Introduction logo“Puss in Boots” is another classic story from Rabbit Ears Productions about how a clever feline tries to make his master a prince in order to save his own life.  With Tracey Ullman’s hilarious narration, Jean Luc Ponty’s elegant music and Pierre Le-Tan’s beautiful illustrations, “Puss in Boots” will be an instant treat for children both young and old.

Blog 4 Pros

Tracey Ullman’s narration is hilarious and creative at the same time as she narrates this story with such energy.  Tracey Ullman effectively uses both a proper tone and a French accent to narrate this story as she narrates the story in a proper tone and she uses a French accent when she is voicing the characters.  One of my most favorite scenes in this video was when Puss in Boots was pretending to be dead and a rabbit approaches him and says:

“Oh!  Looks like that there kitty is dead!  I guess I’ll just help myself to some of that there lettuce he’s got in his bag.  Uh-huh! Yep!”

Jean Luc Ponty’s music is extremely elegant and modern at the same time as he uses an electronic keyboard to capture the modern day feel to the story while at the same time, he brings an elegant sound to the score to emphasize the fairy tale element feel to the story.  Pierre Le-Tan’s illustrations are beautiful as the images are extremely colorful and the characters in the story also look a bit hilarious since their heads are all the same oval shape, even Puss in Boots has the same shaped head as the human characters do.

Blog 5 ConsParents should know that the narration in this story might be a bit too hard to follow, especially when Tracey Ullman uses a French accent in voicing the characters and she tends to jumble her words a bit when she is speaking in a French accent.  Also, there is some advanced vocabulary in this video that younger children might not understand very well and parents should try to go over the words with their child so that way they would not be very confuse with the words.

Blog 6 Overall“Puss in Boots” is a hilarious and wonderful classic from Rabbit Ears that will have children rolling around laughing for a long time.  I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since there is some vocabulary that smaller children might have a hard time understanding and because the narration might be a bit too hard to understand since Tracey Ullman is barely understandable when she is speaking in a French accent

5 stars

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Story Discussions #6: Koi and the Kola Nuts (1991)


Koi and the Kola Nuts (1991)

Hey everybody! Welcome to “Story Discussions,” where we talk about various Rabbit Ears stories each week and you can talk about what you liked or hated about the Rabbit Ears story we will discuss for that week.

 
This week’s Rabbit Ears story we will be discussing this week is:

 
Koi and the Kola Nuts (1991)
Narrated by: Whoopi Goldberg
Music by: Herbie Hancock
Illustrated by: Reynold Ruffins

 

I have always loved reading African folktales and “Koi and the Kola Nuts” was one of my favorite stories ever being told!  I loved the fact that this story is trying to teach children about the importance of showing respect to other people, such as Koi in this story is trying to earn the respect that he deserves when his own village didn’t even respect his prescence after his father dies and he has to end up doing so many difficult tasks to prove to a new village that he came across that he deserves their respect.  Whoopi Goldberg’s narration is truly uplifting and I loved the way that she brings so much emotion and drama to this story. Herbie Hancock’s African influenced music greatly complements the story’s exotic nature and Reynold Ruffins’ illustrations are gorgeous to look at as everything looks so colorful and they really capture the beauty of Africa!

 
So, what did you liked or hated about Whoopi Goldberg’s “Koi and the Kola Nuts?”

 
Please feel free to answer below!

Story Discussions #4: The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)


The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

Hey everybody! Welcome to “Story Discussions,” where we talk about various Rabbit Ears stories each week and you can talk about what you liked or hated about the Rabbit Ears story we will discuss for that week.
This week’s Rabbit Ears story we will be discussing this week is:

The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

Narrated by: Robin Williams
Music by: The Klezmer Conservatory Band
Illustrated by: Henrik Drescher

As everyone knows, “The Fool and the Flying Ship” is my all-time favorite story from Rabbit Ears and what I loved so much about this story was that the narration, the music and the illustrations all combine effortlessly to create one hilarious and wild take on the ancient Russian folktale!  Robin Williams was brilliant in narrating this story as he brought so much humor to the story and made the story fun to watch!  The Klezmer Conservatory Band’s music brings in a creative flair to the story and Henrik Drescher’s illustrations is the icing on the cake as they are bizarre yet creative at the same time and really brings in a unique spin on this ancient folktale!
So, what did you liked or hated about Robin Williams’ narration on “The Fool and the Flying Ship?”
Please feel free to answer below!